One of the biggest assets — and liabilities — that a couple might have together is a home. If you are going through a divorce, then who will keep the home — or whether anyone will keep the home — is an important consideration. Every situation is unique, but these three questions are a good place to start when making such a decision.
First, is it realistic for either person to keep the home? It’s tempting to demand the house in a divorce for many reasons. If one person is going to have primary custody of children, then keeping the kids in the home they know might seem like the best plan. To do so, however, you have to be able to realistically afford the home. Ask yourself: Can you afford to pay the mortgage and keep up the home?
Second, will a bank refinance the mortgage for either person? If the mortgage is in both of your names, then it’s unlikely you’ll want to continue long-term with that arrangement. If one person wants to take over the mortgage, then they have to be able to refinance under their name alone. In a tightening lending market, this isn’t always feasible.
Third, could you trade for the home? If the home is already paid off or there are enough assets in the marriage property to pay it off, then one person might be willing to make a trade in order to keep the home. This might involve giving up some other asset or buying out the other spouse.
If keeping the home is a goal for you, then consider speaking with a divorce lawyer about property division options. Yes, it can be a challenge to make numbers work in some cases, but many times, it is possible for one part of a divorcing family to remain in the home.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Keeping The House After Divorce,” Kathleen B. Connell, accessed June 09, 2016